It's a great "rock scramble". For the energetic youngster, it's like a jungle gym to the horizon. Great views of Donner Lake. At the top, you reach the old trans-Sierra rail line now abandoned and with the tracks removed. There is a lake/reservoir next to Donner Ski Ranch near the top of the pass.
Located on old Route-40, which is the road past Sugar Bowl and Soda Springs. From the condo, take route 89 to Truckee and turn left at Mountain Hardware which will put you on Donner Pass Rd. Pass the visitor's center keeping the lake on your left. At the end of the lake, the road will climb and cross a dramatic bridge. Look for parking on the left after the bridge.
Distance and Difficulty
The mountain is wide open: there is no trail. Pick your direction and the steepness of the ascent. The footing is granite so the traction is excellent. You can pick a gentle grade for a more leisurely hike. The young ones can run ahead and spread out. They will be visible almost anywhere on the grade.